Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2003 Chela Delgado. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Lisa Smulyan

Second Advisor

Bruce Dorsey


Delgado’s thesis examines racial divisions within the ideals of womanhood from the end of the Civil War through the twentieth century, exploring African-American women’s roles in care work and related stereotypes. Through periodicals, government documents, and secondary sources, she examines the effect of Mammy, the fictional black domestic worker who allegedly had more emotional attachment to the white family she worked for than to her own family, on white expectations of black women. She traces the development of the stereotype of the “welfare queen” and other stereotypes of black women which serve to justify discriminatory public policy and continued racial hostility toward African Americans.